Sunday, December 27, 2009

Leap Badge No.8

We can't help feeling a bit nostalgic this close to the New Year. How far Leap has come from breathless idea to we're-really-doing-it! publishing windstorm. Our lives will never quite be the same. It's amazing what a small group of people, or even just one soul, can accomplish.

So that's our message with Leap Badge No.8 - if we can start a publishing company....what can you do in 2010? Go ahead, change your world. Change THE world. We'll be cheering you on.

Don't forget to snag a Leap badge and post it on your Blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Email us at with the address of the page where you loaded it. Why? One word: SWAG. For full contest details, go here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Book Whisperer Interview with Kitty Keswick

Take a break from your online holiday shopping and check out this fabulous interview with Kitty at the Book Whisperer blog. Get the goods on Freaksville as well as the second book in the Freaksville series, Furry and Freaked!

Freaksville's release date is just around the corner: January 8, 2010. If you need a werewolf fix, don't despair--soon Freaksville will be around to take the edge off.

Don't forget to enter our swag contest. Only a measly 14 days until we draw the winners!

And book bloggers, check back this coming week for the names of ARC winners. The long delay is over, and the ARCs should be arriving any day now. Hope you're one of the lucky ones!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Leap Badge, Lucky No.7

2010 doth approach and with it, Leap Books embarks on a great journey. We're getting close to our January 1st launch date, but there are still miles to travel before we celebrate, and a few weeks to enter the Leap Badge contest. We just gotta warn you....reading a Leap book is like the ultimate road trip, so buckle up and hang on! Don't forget to grab the latest Leap Badge, Lucky No.7 and get in the race for Leap swag.

Don't know about the contest? It's easy. Snag a Leap badge, and post it on your Blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Email us at with the address of the page where you loaded it. Why? One word: SWAG. For full contest details, go here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Leap Books: Gothic Art Meets Paranormal YA Fiction

The fates were smiling down on us the day we encountered the bewitching talents of Val Cox, an illlustrator whose gothic style art sent a shiver of delight down the spines of everyone here at Leap Books. Our goal with Leap is to make our books come alive for readers and what better way to do this than to colaborate with an artist who completely "gets" what our paranormal authors are going for. We give you the mind of Val (which we picked exhaustively - because she's just that cool) and a teaser of her amazing work:

What is your first memory of reading/books? Of illustrations?

Wow, so many :) I had a really cool book as a kid called Panda Cake about 2 panda cubs who gathered all the ingredients their panda mama needed to make her very special cake - my daughter has the book now.

If you could illustrate a famous person living or dead, who would it be?

Great question! Living - either Henry Rollins or Kat Von D. Dead - Jeff Buckley, with enormous angel wings of course.

What was the most challenging graphic (or otherwise) job you’ve had?

While working at Citytv, I illustrated a complete outdoor ad campaign (for the sides of buses, bus shelters, inside the subway, etc.) for their morning news and lifestyle program, Breakfast Television. I had to do it in 2 weeks!

Your plane just crashed on a deserted island. You have 30 seconds to grab a few items from your bag. What would you grab first?

Well, I'm pretty sure I'd have my beloved pug, Fonzie, with me in a carry-on so he's number one, followed by my iPod , cell phone, and favourite lip gloss.

Were you always an illustrator?

Yes! From the word go.

When did you first fall in love with art and why?

I was born a commercial artist - as a child I was mesmerized by the colourful illustrations on tea boxes and candy wrappers. I spent countless hours working on creating my own fonts from scratch.

How do you feel about girl power?

Pretty dang awesome, sister.

Without thinking, what are the first three things that leap to mind when you're asked to list what you love most about being an illustrator for Leap Books? Quick!

1. The books are SO COOL!!!

2. The authors are amazing and so much fun to collaborate with :)

3. Every step of the way I'm reminded how lucky I am that I get to do something this creative for a living - what's not to love?

What illustrations are you working on for Leap? What were some of the challenges or surprises you had with the first book you did?

I've just completed illustrations for Kitty Keswick's debut, Freaksville, and I'm presently working on Under My Skin by Judith Graves. I've been lucky enough to get a sneak peak and both are very thrilling, addictive reads. It was an interesting challenge getting a couple of the characters just right, but once I did, it was like watching them come to life before me, filling out the amazing story I knew they each belonged to. It's been a very cool experience!

What is the first piece of advice you'd give to an aspiring graphic artist?

The same advice I'd give to anyone who's about to embark on pursuing what's in their heart - "Fortune favours the bold." SO BE BOLD! If you feel this is what you're truly meant to do, believe in yourself and the world will listen. Oh, and it doesn't hurt to put together a print portfolio of your best stuff and take it with you everywhere ;)

If by drawing, you could change the world, what would you draw?

Cupcakes, pugs, the Beatles. Repeat.


Val Cox is an award-winning illustrator and graphic designer. Her creations are captivating and edgy, emphasizing a fresh expression of visual communication all her own. Vibrant, playful colour schemes draw viewers in, while stunning, wide-eyed characters keep them intrigued and amused. Her striking and recognizable work has developed through a life-long journey of strange and beautiful complications, inspiring her to create images that reflect her own quirky brand of grace, perseverance, and style.

Val's experience with helping clients realize their marketing and graphic design dreams has spanned the last nine years. She has worked and consulted on a variety of projects for a wide range of client needs, including marketing concepts and ad design, logo and corporate identity development, poster layout, and package design. She has found herself at home working in the entertainment and media industries, honing her advertising and design skills at the great CHUM Television (now CTVGlobemedia), including ACCESS The Education Station, Canadian Learning Television (CLT), BookTelevision, Court TV Canada, and Citytv, from 2005 to 2008. Here she had the pleasure of working on the 2006 and 2007 outdoor ad campaigns for Citytv's morning news and lifestyle program, BreakfastTelevision. Her work on these campaigns earned her the honour of two consecutive Promax BDA Awards; Silver at the 2007 ceremonies in New York City, followed by Gold in 2008. Her illustrations have appeared in SEE Magazine, Alberta's foremost arts and entertainment weekly. She has volunteered her time and talent to fundraising events, including local productions of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues and Mois├ęs Kaufman's The Laramie Project.

She currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.